April 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm 24 comments

I think it’s time I confess. (Sorry, not confessions of a romance writer…)But I’ve been having a problem, one equivalent to impotence just for writers. I can’t seem to finish a story. Which I think is apros for me since I wasn’t one of those writers who couldn’t finish a ms then something made me finish. No, me, being me I have to do every ass backwards. (Sorry, Lani and Sam, I had to curse.)I wait until my 5th novel is completed before I clam up.

So, you ask, what is my problem?

Fear. Unadulterated fear that I’m writing complete and utter crap. And it’s not the normal variety kind. I can deal with the normal variety. I just keep writing through it until I love my writing again. But I can’t seem to find my unheathly love of my own writing. This is a special kind of fear. It’s the kind that you start three stories and can’t seem to finish one of them.

Yup, you heard that right. I haven’t finished anything in six months. Six freaking months. And of course this just might be the day an agent reads my blog. *sob*

So, you ask, Melissa what do you plan to do?

I plan to quit publishing. I’m throwing in the towel. I’ll continue to log into Chats with the Divas every night. (This particular place you go and write for twenty minutes. I usually do two of them.) I’ll take my piddly word count and fool myself into believing I’m getting somewhere. But I’m not submitting this novel. Or any other thing I have until I’m done. Publishing gives me the Willies. Agent searching gives me a stomach ulcer.

I’m done.

I freaking QUIT.

But of course if an agent offers me representation I might be talked out of it.


Entry filed under: writing woes.


24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amie Stuart  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    YOu can’t quit..it’s like crack and you da ho!

    No but seriously, I totally understand what you are saying and why you’re saying it. I think sometimes we reach a point where we go what’s the point. And sometimes you just owe it to yourself to take a break. No one really quits–you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave


  • 2. Amanda Brice  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I bet any amount of money that now that the pressure is off, you’ll be able to finish everything, no problem.

    Maybe I oughtta quit…

  • 3. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    No, Amie, backstory is the crack…

    So, I’m checking out of publishing. I know it makes me crazy, because there is no rhyme or reason to it. And some days I have to remind myself why I got into this business in the first place. It’s because I love to write. I love finding out about people who live in my imagination. Dare I say I like playing God. (waiting to be struck by lighting as I type.) But that’s what I love more than seeing my book on the shelf. I won’t knock it, but right now it’s driving me beserk.

  • 4. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Amanda, I hope so, because I can’t stand NOT writing.

  • 5. Pam  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Mel, I love you to pieces so I’m going to be a little blunt here–you need to seperate writing from publishing. That’s why you’re blocked. Tell the girls that you’re going to be writing for the pure love and joy of putting words on the page and torturing your characters and that no agent or editor is ever going to come near it unless they break into your house and steal your computer. Run free and swing wide, build worlds and play in them. Do 4 chapter short stories, write fairy tales, do a movie script–just have fun with it and f**k (yeah, sorry to Sam and Lani, too) the rest!

    And don’t forget to replenish your creative well. Watch movies, read other books, go to a museum or concert, get a pedicure, sit in a park with the wind blowing on your face–you time is just as important to writing as Butt In Chair time.

    I know you, babe. You’ve got too much spirit and zest to throw in the towel. Write with the passion I know you have and the rest will come.

    Sending you big fat smooches!!!

  • 6. Dana Belfry  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Dude (I live in CA I can say dude without looking like an idiot)

    Dude. You are not going to quit. You know why? Because you’re a diva and we’ve already assimilated you. You cannot escape.

    I’m with Amanda though. Maybe I should too!

  • 7. Merry  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    It could be that you simply need a break, as Pam said, to just write without any thought of deadlines or suckitudinousness(!)
    I was reading Jay Lake’s blog today and it took him – IIRC – 10 years to get published. Same goes for Paperback Writer. (Never give up, never surrender)
    Perhaps if you let your batteries recharge and write just for you things will come together?

  • 8. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Pam, I love you. I think I’ve got a girl/author crush on you.

    And, yes, I needed a swift kick. I forget the reason why I was writing. I’m in deadline hell. I couldn’t find the happy in writing. I was basically b%^ch slapped with the reality of publishing. I forget to seperate the two. So, I deserve another slap, because I KNOW IT MAKES YOU CRAZY!!!!

    So on the verge of calling it quits completely (that includes not writing anymore.) I realized that it wasn’t writing driving me nutso. Making me whine every five freaking seconds. Making me hate every single word that I typed. It was publishing.

    So, I stick to I’m quitting publishing. I’ll come back to it of course. But not until I’ve finished this ms. And then when I take myself back through the process and hit this wall again, I’ll quit publishing, AGAIN. Then start the process over. I guess this year I’m still learning to close the door on that side of writing.

    we live and we learn.

  • 9. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Dude (I live in CA I can say dude without looking like an idiot)

    Ha, I live in CA, so it didn’t even sound out of the ordinary. I also say, totally a million times a day. So, no prejudice here.

    Now on to the rest of the comment. I wasn’t trying to escape from being a Diva. I love it. I know I can whine, celebrate, and be my weird sarcastic self. I also know I’d get my butt kicked for letting the publishing side get to me. And then there are the few Divas who would hold on to my ankle either way.

    Gosh, I love writing communities.

  • 10. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Perhaps if you let your batteries recharge and write just for you things will come together?

    I hope so, because I miss writing. Just writing and getting lost into the story. *sigh*

  • 11. Caryn  |  April 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    You know, maybe you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Maybe what you need is to rest for a while, give yourself permission to not write. I’ve done that before, and it’s amazing how desperate I become to write. Suddenly writing is fun again. It feels good. I’m saying this not because I think that you should actually give up writing — you’re a very talented writer and that would be such a waste, and something I think you would regret — but because it just may help you find your way back. So take a while. Read a lot. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t let yourself write. Then see what happens.

    P.S. I have to wonder if some of this is because you’ve been going through all the trauma with See Megan Run. That can’t have helped your feelings about writing. And, of course, those feelings can’t have helped how you saw the book, either.

  • 12. bettye griffin  |  April 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Mel, try working out the plot of the story before you start. This should help you from getting stuck.

  • 13. Bethanne  |  April 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    So, are we all quiting now, too?

    I swear, if one Diva started walking around without a shirt on…we’d all start walking around without a shirt on. [SARCASM AT ITS BEST]

  • 14. Jennifer McKenzie  |  April 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    WHAT!!!? After I read “How Much You Want To Bet”? (Which rocked btw)
    What are you talking about!!!!! You can’t quit.
    Resistance is futile.
    Yes, finish.
    No quitting.
    Oh, and there’s no way I’m walking around without my shirt on, man. I’d give someone a black eye.

  • 15. Chloe Devlin  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Sometimes giving yourself permission not to write helps to feed the need and gets you writing again.

    I also think that the pressure of trying to produce and sell oftentimes clogs us up. Try just writing for yourself — and no one else!

    Above all, good luck!


  • 16. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I have to wonder if some of this is because you’ve been going through all the trauma with See Megan Run.

    You are not far off. But that situation is a two-edged sword. Right now that’s my lesson for the year. Do not send a book out that isn’t ready. Just accept your process and be the writer you’re supposed to be.

    So of course I don’t learn this nugget until I’m ready to throw in the towel and all my writing buddies beat me up over it.

  • 17. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Bettye-I’d been thinking of writing out a synopsis. If for nothing else getting the conflict down for both characters. Right now the story is feeling lopsided. (if that’s makes sense). Once I have that I’ll go from there.

  • 18. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Bethane-I’d glady walk around with my shirt off. My boobies are boobtiful.

    Sarcasm at it’s worse.

  • 19. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Oh, and there’s no way I’m walking around without my shirt on, man. I’d give someone a black eye.

    I’d pay money to see that happen. Imagine going to E.R. because you put your eye out….

  • 20. Mel  |  April 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Try just writing for yourself — and no one else!

    I think that’s what this boils down to. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to write for myself. Publishing for the past few months has been in my mind. Taking it over and sucking out all the happy.

    I don’t have anything against hard work when it comes to making my story the best it can be. But I have a problem with publishing a book that isn’t my best for publishing sake. It just kinds of feels like I sold my soul.

  • 21. Pam  |  April 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Guess the votes are in–no quitting allowed.

    There ya go.

  • 22. Mel  |  April 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    You try to quit publishing and it sucks you back.

  • 23. Amie Stuart  |  April 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Told you..it’s crack baby (backstory is like pot or Oreos LOL)

  • 24. raine  |  April 27, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I’m late to the party (nothing new there), but I’ve still got two cents.
    I know exactly how you feel. It will drive you nuttier than you think you already are.
    And agree with all the advice above–concentrate on the writing, f*ck worrying about publishing if it’s making you crazy for now.
    You’ve got good friends here.
    Everybody needs someone to help them keep going. 😉

    Now, off to remove my shirt…hang in there!

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